Friday, September 28, 2012

Kids Art Kit: Finished Mini Album

Earlier in the week I shared the Kids Travel Art Kit I put together for our beach trip.  It was a perfect way to have some down time in the afternoon rather than watching television.  

When I got back home, I put added our photos into the book to create a simple, but fun mini album.

Here are some of our pages...

I love how each page is totally handmade and unique!  And I love including all of Anna's fun artwork.  I'm sure she'll love looking back on it when she's older!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Counting Apples Activity

We've been doing lots of apple crafts lately so I decided to add some fun apple learning to the mix.  

I made up these little cards for my daughter one evening when I was bored! 

I cut out tree trunks and tree tops and add a "dot" to each tree top to represent an apple.  Then, on the bottom of the card I wrote a number.

I adhered the tree tops using velcro dots (love those things!)

Then I set them out for Anna and let her match up the number on the bottom of the card with the correct number of apples on the tree top.

Numbers 1-6 were pretty easy for her, but I had to remind her to slow down and put her finger on each "apple" as she was counting.  She tended to go a little too fast....

But it was fun, and she was learning.  That's all that matters!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tot Trays: Fun with Trains

Now that Anna is in preschool three days a week I have a little more time to spend one-on-one with my sweet little guy.  He loves trains soooo much so I thought it would be fun to put together some train tot trays for him.  He's so cute carrying the trays around.....and it's so interesting to see how differently he approaches the trays than Anna did at that age.  Too cute.

Here are our train "trays".

Color matching with trains

Lacing trains and other vehicles

Making train tracks in playdoh

Train dot page
(Dot page from here)

All of these are pretty simple and I have been leaving them out all the time.  He loves trains and has been enjoying these trays!!  It gets me excited about making trays again!!  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Preschool Journal

Something new Anna is doing this year is keeping a preschool journal.  She loves to draw, write, paint, etc...and I wanted to give her a place where she could keep her stories and pictures, as well as practice writing.  

I picked up a mixed media spiral bound book at the craft store and adhered a piece of paper to the front with her name on it.  I let her decorate her name however she wanted.  She chose to do a new type of "splatter painting" we've been doing recently.

Inside, she adds her drawings, writings, letters, stories, etc.  The page above has her self-portrait.  For this page, I did encourage her to draw a picture of herself.  I added the date stamp above it so we would be able to remember when she did this drawing.

For most of the pages so far, she has a "story" in mind and usually draws part of the story and asks me how to spell certain words to write part of her story.  
The story above says "Snow White Leap" with a picture of Snow White dancing and leaping through the air.

On other pages, she will tell me what she drew/made and I will record either her story or what her drawing represents.  For the page above, she colored red and blue together to make purple.  

Some days I will either set something out with her preschool journal (stamps, stickers) or will have a little activity set up for her to do in her journal.  I'm planning to share more of our journal pages as we complete them!!

I keep our preschool journal and a big jar of crayons out in our kitchen.  It's not in her reach because that would mean that it would also be in her little brother's reach, but it is accessible at any time.  I love that she asks to "write" in her journal several times each week.  Hopefully as we get the playroom all set up I will be able to include some type of writing/creating center for the kids.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kids Travel Art Kit

I love everything that Elizabeth Kartchner does, so when I saw her diy: art kit I knew I wanted to create one for our upcoming beach trip.  

I pretty much just went through my stash of paints, stickers, buttons, markers, crayons and glue sticks and put together this super easy, but super fun travel art kit.

Prior to going on our trip I cut up some construction paper, watercolor paper and papers from our watercolor matching activity to make a little book to paint in, doodle in and capture our memories.

I tucked all the art supplies into a pencil pouch and put it all in our travel bag.

The first day of our mini vacation was beautiful, but then the storms came in and we had a some cloudy and rainy afternoons.  Since my 21 month old still takes good afternoon naps, Anna, Dada and I lounged inside and painted and doodled.  

Once we got back home I printed out the pictures from our trip (and the ones from our Instax camera) and put them in our book and made a little mini vacation album (which I'll share more of later).  

It was so fun having the art supplies with us and it was a great mid-afternoon break for Anna, who no longer naps, but really should....if you get my drift.  Painting and coloring is quite relaxing....even for adults!!

Be sure to grab your art supplies and make a little art kit for your next trip!  I'll be sure to make one for all of our trips!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Insta Love

I love Instagram.  Love it.  I love that I always have a camera with me and that I can share my photos with family and friends.  I love that I can document the "everyday" all day long without lugging around my big ole camera.  I love that I catch those special little hugs, quiet naps, messy treats and sweet moments.  I love looking back through the photos and seeing how much my two sweet kids have grown just this year.

Here is an "insta" look at our last couple of weeks.  All fun, all good.

From the top left:
UNC football game
Drew going to "pretend preschool"
Anna taking a rare, but needed nap
Drew and his cute little cheeks
Drew swinging higher
Our new home
Messy painting fun
Anna's preschool teacher
Anna's first day of preschool
Messy treats after dinner
Yummy beers on tap
Big slides
Funny Anny
First haircut for Drew
More swinging Drew-man
Anna's "first day" sign

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tracing Shapes: A Simple Preschool Activity

I set up this simple little tracing activity one afternoon for my daughter.

It's a little tricky for small hands and it took a little bit of work, but she enjoyed the activity.

Supplies needed:
White paper
Buttons (or some type of shape that is rather flat)

Start by using a small piece of tape to tape down each button to your paper.

Then invite your child over to trace around each shape.  

Anna like to peel off each button and the piece after she was done to see her tracing...

Then as an added bonus, have them try to identify the shape they traced and color it the same color as the button.

After they have colored all the shapes, you can play a little matching game to match up the buttons and the tracings.

Overall, it's a simple activity, but great for fine motor development and pre-writing skills!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Toddler Craft: Apple Tree

Big sister can't have all the fun, can she???

Drew was pretty excited when he saw the Apple Tree Craft Anna and I did, so I decided he should make his own little apple tree while she was off at preschool one morning.  

This craft is simple and fun, but can be kind of messy if your little one is like mine.  Drew definitely doesn't mind getting messy.

Supplies needed:
Paper plate
Brown construction paper
Red and green paint

Start by taping down a paper plate.  Then hand your child a sponge with some green paint and invite them over to paint the plate.

Watch gets messy fast with little fingers!!

(You can let the paint dry if you'd like, but we just skipped that step!!)
Then put a cork in some red paint and show your toddler how to stamp the plate with the cork to make an "apple".

Cut out a trunk from your brown construction paper and tape it to the bottom of your "apple tree".

Hang and admire!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Letter A: Fun with Apples

Last year, I introduced Anna to the letters of the alphabet using fun little methods and crafts.  Click here to be taken to all of our alphabet activities and crafts.

Since she is pretty familiar with each letter and it's sound, I am planning on going back through the alphabet, but am focusing on pre-writing and writing of each letter and the letter sound in the word (a- for apple).  

We are also making an alphabet book which I will share more of as we complete the pages.

Here's what we did for letter A...

I drew some random apple shapes on some paper and Anna colored them and I cut them out.  Then we worked on sorting by color...

And patterning...

And writing the uppercase and lowercase A/a.

We also did patterning by uppercase and lowercase letters, which was a little tricky since it wasn't always a red/green combination.

Then we made a large apple tree from a brown paper bag, colored it and added our apples to the apple tree!

The tree already has me craving Fall!!  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Watercolors and Q-tip Painting

This is another simple and easy watercolor activity.  Instead of using brushes, we used q-tips.  Sometimes it's fun to change up the tools you use, you know!!

Anna liked making different colored dots on her paper...

And then experimented with trying to draw and write with the q-tips.


but fun and different!

Since my daughter is only 3, I just let her experiment with the paint and q-tips.  If you have an older child feel free to encourage them to make a picture or design with the dots.  Grab some extra'll want to join in the fun!!

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